Craft Breweries – Part 5 of 5

There are founders and everyone else is a successor. In the United States today there are more Craft Breweries owned by Founders than Successors due to the significant growth in the industry over the past ten years. Now we are in a period where many Craft Breweries are focused on surviving. It is understandable if owners are not focusing right now on the next generation or the successors but making business decisions without the end game in mind can lead to future losses which could have been avoided.

If your plan is anything other than shutting the doors for good start by asking yourself four quick questions:

  1. Who will take over?
  2. What will happen to everyone?
  3. How will the transition be financed?
  4. Will you continue to be involved in the business after the transfer?

Chances are your Craft Brewery has endeavored to make a significant contribution to and is actively involved in the community. In addition to the four questions above you should also be taking time to reflect on the legacy you are building and what you hope continues. Another way of looking at it is you are building a brand. The next generation needs to understand what the brand stands for.

Making great beer is job one! Understanding everything else the business stands for is critical for a successful transition from the current generation to the next.

Supplemental Note December 11, 2020 – Early this morning I received an E Mail from Populuxe Brewing in Seattle with the Subject Line “A Difficult Announcement.” They cannot continue because the revenues are not enough. Here is an excerpt from the E Mail.

This is devastating but we find hope in the wonderful support we have received from all of you through the years. Creating a community for beer lovers and their families in our own neighborhood was a dream and getting to serve all of you, a pleasure. As we look back over the last eight years, we smile about the family happy hours, trivia, charitable events, art openings, karaoke, live music and gatherings we shared together.

Peter and Amy gave much to the community. It was not how they planned to have it end. They will be missed. We will miss their beer and we will miss the Populuxe Brand and all it represented.

Marshall+Viliesis is a firm with a vision to protect every business owner with a Business Value Protection Plan. Our mission is to transform how the financial services industry provides clear, concise and integrated planning for closely held business owners. We would love to hear from you.

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